4 Time-Saving Habits That Transformed My Life

Jun 08, 2024

Balancing the demanding life of medical school, family responsibilities, and side hustles can seem like an insurmountable challenge. Yet, with the right strategies, it’s not only possible to manage but also to thrive. I’m a fourth-year medical student at the Mayo Clinic, and I’ve discovered four life-changing habits that have allowed me to excel academically, run a successful business, create engaging content, and still enjoy precious time with my family. Here’s how you can do the same.

1. Capture Tasks Immediately
Our brains are designed for generating ideas, not storing them. By capturing tasks and ideas the moment they come to you, you can prevent them from slipping away. I use Notion as my digital second brain to organize everything from medical school notes to content creation ideas. A quick tip is to make capturing as frictionless as possible; for me, a widget on my phone’s home screen does the trick.

2. Eat The Frog Early
The concept comes from Brian Tracy's book, 'Eat That Frog,' which suggests tackling your most daunting task first thing in the morning. This approach not only gives you a momentum boost for the day but also a serene peace of mind, knowing the toughest job is behind you. As a medical student, dedicating the early hours to study has made the rest of my day more productive and manageable.

3. Achieve Inbox Zero
Managing emails efficiently can significantly cut down on wasted mental energy. Inbox zero, a concept from productivity expert David Allen’s book 'Getting Things Done,' aims to keep your inbox at zero unread messages. This involves deciding on the spot to delete, delegate, do, or defer every email. Also, unsubscribing from newsletters you no longer read can keep your inbox manageable and your mind clear.

4. Plan Your Day The Night Before
End your day by planning the next. This simple habit can dramatically reduce morning indecision and procrastination. Review your schedule for upcoming appointments and deadlines, prioritize tasks by importance, and allocate specific times for each. This not only ensures a smoother day but also helps allocate your best focus times to the most critical tasks.

Incorporating these habits into your daily routine may not happen overnight, but with persistence, they can significantly enhance your productivity and overall quality of life. Whether you’re a medical student juggling multiple responsibilities or someone looking to improve their time management skills, these strategies can offer a fresh perspective and actionable solutions.

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